I'm A Celebrity 2020: The Charities Each Celeb Is Playing For
While the celebs face terrifying trials, give up their creature comforts for creepy crawlies and vie for the title of King or Queen of the jungle, it’s all for a very good cause.
For one celeb who’ll be crowned in 2020, a charity of their choosing will win $100,000. Prior to heading into camp, we spoke to the celebs about which charity they’re competing for and why.
'I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!' will be matching dollar for dollar all the proceeds raised in support of the celebrities chosen charities to the Rural Fire Service and other charities supporting those affected by the bushfires.
Billy Brownless, Beyond Blue
“A good friend of ours in the media and the footy world, Danny Frawley passed away,” Billy told 10 daily. “We knew he had a couple of issues but had no idea how serious it was. He was an advocate for Beyond Blue and blokes speaking out.
A not-for-profit organisation that promotes good mental health, Beyond Blue has worked to reduce the stigma of mental illness, anxiety, depression and reduce the rate of suicide in Australia.
“I don’t suffer from depression, I was just hit by what happened to Danny who was a good mate. A good fella, and now he’s not with us anymore,” Billy continued, “It’s awareness for that and for blokes and girls to talk to each other about how they’re feeling.”
Charlotte Crosby: Autism Awareness Australia
Autism Awareness is one of the leading voices for autism in Australia. Founded in 2007, the not-for-profit’s goal is simple: "To improve the lives of all Australians on the spectrum and the families who love them.''
“My little brother has autism and aspergers,” Charlotte told 10 daily, “so it’s quite a close one to my heart.”
Dale Thomas, Camp Quality Off The Menu
Camp Quality is an organisation that aims to provide support for children up to 13-years-old who have been diagnosed with cancer or are dealing with the diagnosis of a family member. Off The Menu is an event founded by Matthew Butcher, Dale’s housemate.
“He gets a lot of chefs in and puts on a dinner, sells tickets and all the money goes directly to providing camps for kids with cancer and their families,” Dale told 10 daily.
“One of the great things about being in football and people loving football in Melbourne was that you got to see these kids, and they get such a buzz out of seeing you,” he continued. “Gives you a bit of perspective about how tough some of these kids are doing it, being dealt some pretty sh*tty hands. To try and be able to help them and their families is something I can hopefully do.”
Dilruk Jayasinha: Shake It Up Australia
Established in 2011, Shake It Up Australia is a not-for-profit organisation founded by brothers Clyde and Greg Campbell. The organisation aims to increase awareness as well as raise funding in Australia to assist with research, treatments and ultimately find a cure for Parkinson’s.
“My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago,” Dilruk told 10 daily, “so I was excited to do something and contribute to that. It’s a pretty awful disease so it’s nice to feel like I’m doing something.”
Erin Barnett: Endometriosis Australia
Since starring in ‘Love Island’, Erin has used her growing social media audience to raise awareness for endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), two health conditions she personally suffers from. Erin’s charity is Endometriosis Australia, an organisation that hopes to raise awareness, inform, work with researchers and medical professionals and raise funds for research in Australia for treatments and the prevention of endometriosis.
“The more I’ve been speaking about it the more I’ve realised people have [endometriosis], and some women won’t even realise they have it until they’ve seen something I’ve posted,” Erin said.
“Imagine being able to say you won $100,000 for that charity, that would be awesome.”
Miguel Maestre: RUOK
When Miguel competed on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ last year he also was playing for RUOK, a charity very close to his heart. Once again he’ll be putting everything he has out there in the hopes of taking out the top spot.
“This is not going to be easy,” he admitted, “I won’t lie to you, this will be pretty hard. But maybe people will see me putting myself in that situation, maybe that’ll inspire other people to ask that question.
“That conversation could save a life. It’s not just about raising the money but it’s about raising awareness. Imagine how powerful is somebody is watching this show and they say ‘oh, Miguel is supporting RUOK’ and see all the avenues of help. Even if it’s one person, one life. How much that’s worth!”
Myf Warhurst: Pets of the Homeless Australia
“A gorgeous organisation,” Myf explained, “they provide a foodbank to feed the pets of not just homeless folk, also people who are financially struggling or people in domestic violence situations.
“They’ll provide foster care for the pets. Quite often people won’t leave if they’re in a difficult situation because of the pets so they take pets, foster them out to people and make sure they’re looked after.”
Pets of the Homeless began in 2015 when Yvonne Hong saw a need for those experiencing homelessness often had no resources when it came to caring for their pets. Starting out with no outside support, Yvonne began buying supplies to hand out on the street, and once people saw what she was doing a community was born.
Myf added, “Say if someone is homeless and they need to go into a shelter and they don't take pets, the pet is looked after it just keeps the animals with their owners. Their motto is keeping best friends together. I just think that’s a really sweet thing.”
Nikki Osborne: Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
Australia’s largest provider of services for people on the spectrum, Aspect assists by offering a range of support services to those of all ages on the autism spectrum. With early intervention, educational services, support groups and research, Aspect aims to meet the needs of all those on the spectrum as well as their families.
“When my son was diagnosed we were told that he wouldn’t speak or interact,” Nikki told 10 daily. Quitting her job and becoming a full-time therapist for the next four years, Nikki dedicated herself to early intervention. “I think Aspect is the perfect charity because there are so many people in our situation, it’s really hard. It’s the invisible disability so it’s hard to explain to people what you’re going through.
“They do great work in creating awareness and they’re helping families who are slipping through the cracks.”
Paul Cosentino: Australian Literacy And Numeracy Foundation
Cosentino said he was 12-years-old before he could read, explaining that it was a book of magic that helped him with his literacy, so his chosen charity is the ALNF.
"It's close to my heart because it's kind of what I needed as a child," he told 10 daily, "they support children and adults who have learning difficulties, in remote communities as well.
"When you can't read you feel locked up and chained, you feel dumb and people look at you that way. That's not true," he continued. "Intellect is not just measured with reading and writing, there's creativity... there's lots of different things."
Perez Hilton: OzChild
Perez has worked with charities who focus on youths many times in the past. From VH1's Save The Music foundation to GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network).
"I wanted to find an organisation that did work in Australia, that was youth-centric and that spoke to me" Perez told 10 daily. "OzChild helps find foster homes for children in the foster care system.
"It also helps train and recruit families that are interested in fostering and that's a beautiful, wonderful thing."
Rhonda Burchmore: NeuRA
Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) is a not-for-profit research institute in Sydney which aims to prevent, treat and cure diseases, disorders and injuries of the brain and nervous system. One such disorder is multiple system atrophy or MSA, “Something I had never heard of,” Rhonda said. All that changed when her sister Michelle was diagnosed with MSA.
“Everything shuts down except the brain. I was with her right to the end. Just to see this dynamic person that really was the reason why I do what I do, my biggest support, my soulmate, with such determination.
“She thought she could beat it and she couldn’t,” Rhonda said. “That’s the overriding thing for me in the jungle. That will get me through the hardest of times, thinking that I’m alive and if I can do this to raise awareness for this disease, that’s a job well done.”
Ryan Gallagher: National Breast Cancer Foundation
For most of Ryan’s life his mum has been battling breast cancer. “[She] was diagnosed when I was 5, got it again when I was 15. It spread when I was 25, it came back in her lymph nodes and then it went to her throat when I was 30.”
Recently, Ryan’s mum’s cancer came back in her chest wall and bowel. Supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Ryan hopes that no other kids have to see their mums go through what his has.
“She’s an amazing woman,” he said, “she puts on a very strong face, she’s very positive. Some other kids don’t get to have their mums.
Tanya Hennessy: RUOK
The second of our celebs supporting the suicide prevention charity that began in 2009. Now one of Australia’s biggest initiatives to combat the stigma of mental health and reach out to anyone struggling with life, RUOK day hopes to reduce the number of lives lost every year to suicide.
“I’ve been an ambassador for RUOK since 2016,” Tanya said before heading into the jungle, “it’s a charity that doesn’t really ask for money. It asks for people’s kindness, compassion and empathy. For people to look out for warning signs but also just to be kind, to give people the time to ask if they’re okay and encourages people who are not doing okay to reach out and say ‘Hey, I’m not okay’.
“The reason money is important is because a lot of it goes towards education and to teach people in rural and remote communities -- where suicide rates are the highest -- to teach them about how to have those conversations and give them literature, and hopefully provide more people to answer lifeline numbers.”
“So many of those phone calls which are urgent don’t get answered and that could be a life or death conversation. That’s why my charity is so important.”
Tom Williams: Red Kite
Assisting the families and providing support to children with cancer, Red Kite provides support from diagnosis throughout treatment and after treatment end, and has done so for over 30 years.
“Anything I can do to help them, to help those families,” Tom said. “They’re not a big charity, they’re not part of the big scene which gets heaps of brass and constantly propped up by big benefactors.
“If I can lend a hand in any way, so be it!”
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 on 10 and 10 Play.
Network 10 has pledged to match funds raised by our celebs for their chosen charities, in aid of the bushfire relief effort. That’s right, every dollar will be matched by 10 and go to those in need right here at home.
To find out more about how you can personally support the communities devastated by the crisis across Australia, click here.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Charlotte's charity as Autism Speaks.